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With his grey hair, smart dress and spectacles, he’s certainly not your archetypal mugger.
CCTV captures the elderly man bending down as if to help toddler Luella Hinnigan in her buggy.
But in reality, he was stealing an iPhone the youngster was using to watch an episode of Barney the Dinosaur.
Luella, who is 20 months old, had been briefly given the mobile to keep her occupied in a clothes shop while her mother browsed.
As she watched a cartoon of Barney on the device, the thief quietly approached, pulled the £400 Apple iPhone 4 from her hands and hurried away.
Her mother, Danielle Hinnigan, 26, who had turned her back briefly, realised the phone had vanished only when she heard Luella say: “Mummy, Barney gone, gone.” At first she thought her daughter had dropped the phone, but after asking staff at the shop to check CCTV footage she realised what had happened and police were called.
Mrs Hinnigan, of Kirkby, Merseyside, said: “How anyone can mug a child like that is beyond me.
“Luella loves Barney and was watching a show on my phone. I thought maybe she had dropped it, I never thought someone would go in her pram and take it off her.
“I’m just glad it was just the phone and Luella was okay.
“Everyone is disgusted, her dad was really angry and upset. It made me sick to think an old man could do something like that.”
The theft occurred on September 22 as Danielle, Luella and other family members were shopping in Ormskirk, Lancashire.
Police believe the man, who may have been with a female accomplice, followed them in the shop after spotting the phone.
Inspector Andy Willis said: “This is a despicable offence where it appears the suspect has deliberately targeted a child knowing the crime would be relatively easy to commit.” - Daily Mail